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I am wondering if this scene is even necessary?

The scene in question is very short, only three-ish pages, and I've been taking it out and adding it back into my book multiple times over the past few days. It barely adds anything to the plot and just gives my characters another excuse to die a miserable death [they die a grand total of four miserable deaths over the course of the story].

Here it is:

We have reincarnated together for a seemingly infinite number of life situations on so many different planets, stars, and moons, in so many galaxies, realms, and dimensions. Now, during our next life situation, we will attempt to ascend as Yuntarah, purest spirits of light and love. For this test, we will reincarnate once more--but apart from each other. We both agree that we have become so close that we have difficulty growing spiritually.
We make a promise: that we will be content while apart, and then at the end of our next life situations, ascend beyond mental comprehension, into glorious light and love. The other symbionts remain in the cosmic light, for their mission is to help and heal the main thousands of beings affected by the Starfall.
We have prepared well, and embrace once more before slipping away from each other as our memories are clouded and hidden away, and reincarnate for our next test.

Even as a newborn Luminai, I am aware of a deep, aching feeling, as if a part of me was torn out and not healed well enough. The throbbing gradually becomes akin to a second heartbeat, as if it is a natural part of my life, yet all too soon grows wearisome.
When I ask a few of the other Luminai closest to my aetheric light, they are clearly bewildered, and tell me that no other Luminai has experienced something like that. Though their healing efforts are gentle and compassionate, nothing changes. If anything, my discomfort only increases as I slowly grow older.
Since Luminai ‘see’ by casting out light, a ludicrous, reckless plan gradually forms. The same feelings that are full of desire for something just beyond my reach are instantly conflicted by the eerie impression that I need to stay exactly where I am, that I must suppress such unwanted, ruinous desires. Indecision claws at me until I feel as though I am being torn in half.
Even though I am still young, it is with rising desperation that I shine my starlight as far as it will reach in all directions, pushing myself to the utter limits of my endurance. I send out a thin melody of soul music to harmonize with my dangerously effulgent light.
I can feel myself twist and contort against the intense, painful heat emanating with each ray of light, yet even the terrible risk of going supernova does not deter me. I consider that letting myself do so would almost be an advantage, and so increase my light to a truly massive and spectacular brilliance. I gaze with poignant wonder at the vast, seemingly endless cosmos surrounding me, yet nothing answers my soul music.
The other Luminai nearest to me can only stare in stunned shock as my extreme, literally blazing light undulates around their comparatively pale, faint light, threatening to ignite each of them into flaring supernova along with me.
Amid the conflagrant agony and white flames billowing and swirling around me, my light finally reaches a small yet insanely distant planet that somehow seems inherently familiar to me, as if I have been there before. For one moment, my soul music is answered by a similar melody, and in one instantaneous flash of light, I see him.
A little Corcha child, still barely more than an age old, his cat ears and raven wings so poignantly small, flying higher and higher with pure determination burning in his dark eyes, reaching up as if trying to touch my light shining powerfully down on the planet. He is as exhausted as I am, and at last he surrenders helplessly, falling sharply to the ground. Even though I cannot hear his right wing snap off, I can see it, and feel the excruciating pain as if we are one being.
At the horrible sight of him lying there crumpled, twisted and broken on the ground of that faraway planet, I stop sending out any light, so abruptly that I initially feel as though I cannot see anything. I feel drained and fragile, and a terrible sense of guilt and shame erupts within me, coursing through my body so darkly, but I have gone too far, burned away so much energy, that my light fades away. I become bitterly frozen and shadowy, and remain that way, consumed with a dead, heavy coldness, until I fade away completely: a weak, haunted phantom.

I make amends as best I can with the Luminai I nearly burnt to death, trying constantly to release any negativity clinging within me, and at last they accept and forgive me completely.
Yet before I can return to the cosmic light, I feel something pulling me, faster and faster in a whirlpool of overwhelming chaos into a vast, tenebrous void.

When I awaken, I can barely comprehend anything, utterly disorientated and confused as to why the stars seem to be above me rather than around me. I cannot move, and my light is so pale and glowing a faint, soft white amid the ominous darkness. My vision is bizarrely twisted and fractured, a psychedelic mess of colour. My inner starlight is feeble, and my silvery ‘hair’--thin strands of a usually resplendent aura-- seems dull and wilted. Then I realize that my body seems horribly heavy and dense, and my tiny, bare feet seem to be encased in something. At last I realize that my body is slowly yet gradually turning to crystal, and that this body itself is formed from water, held together by magic.
I sense him beside me, sitting still in the soft grass under the tree. I feel his cold tears falling on my face. I gaze up into his reflective, haunted, deep brown eyes, letting my light illuminate the short, dark brown fur, slender, talon-like left hand contrasting his gigantic claw-like right hand, and the single dusky brown wing. A scrap of cloth covers his face from the eyes down, which puzzles me greatly. I know his name just as easily as he knows mine.
Kareth, what have you done?
He turns away, face contorted with pain and guilt. Did you mutilate yourself...as a punishment, for making a simulacrum of me? Did you know that I would be drawn into this simulacrum body? I ask softly, pulling the bit of cloth away, revealing his stitched mouth. He does not answer, only making a low, hollow sound, shivering slightly as tears fall from his guarded eyes.
Kareth silently allows himself to cry, to release all of the grief and pain locked away, and I hold him gently, comfortingly. When you hurt yourself intentionally, the hurt continues throughout the cosmos. Yet you are here now, right here with me. I forgive you, always. I take his hand in mine, and stand as best I can despite the crystal steadily crawling up my legs, and we walk together on this planet called Mythaven. Come. We can still ascend yet.

Every being we meet, we approach with compassion. We meet many beings still incarnated who were affected by the Starfall in many different ways.

Innumerable nights later, as we sleep together within a deep, crowded forest, Kareth finally communicates with me.
You healed me, that day. I would have died from the fall alone, but your light healed me. Are we...are we so broken? Every bit of darkness we have felt--can it be healed? Will it be enough...will our actions here be enough to ascend?
Everything is as it is. I reply, and kiss Kareth lovingly as the tension fades out of his face. Meridia Kareth Ai.

Half of my body is now covered by faint, translucent crystal. I can no longer move the lower part of my body, or even my waist. Yet with Kareth by my side, I can live, I can smile, I can be love, and give that beautiful joy to any and all beings we meet.

One day, I notice how subtly cold the air is, and before long, tiny snowflakes begin to fall, slowly drifting downwards at first, but swiftly piling up in giant drifts, until everything seems devoured by white. I briefly, ridiculously, wonder if this snowstorm is part of the consequences of our recent actions, but then remind myself that if anything, this new challenge will help us grow, perhaps even allow us to ascend.

The crystal is starting to cover my chest now, though Kareth tries to accept it.

We both can feel the soft yet incessant call of our child, close to being born. We do not know what impact her birth will have, in the middle of a forest covered by a constant snowfall, but there is surely some intention.
What will her name be? Have you received a name? I so intuitively know what the name is that we say it in unison:
Semi. Just from the name alone I instinctively know that she has incredibly high vibrational energy, just like us.
Once we are ready, we sit calmly, facing each other amid the freezing, howling snow and wind, meditating in harmony, picturing exactly how Semi is: wonderful, pure, loving. We gently press the palms of our hands together, allowing our purest light to flow forth as we distinctly hear Semi whisper psychically that she is ready to be born now, and the light cascades and ripples around us.
When the light fades away, we our holding Semi in our arms together, our new precious child, her tiny body covered in soft, fur and downy feathers and shimmering with starlight, her large, soulful, iridescent eyes gazing up at us.

Yet then, everything dissolves into blank whiteness, and I faintly feel Kareth’s wing covering me as I hold Semi protectively.

As the crystal slowly covers my throat and then my face, I vaguely hear Kareth calling me, holding me, until the crystal spills over onto him.
With our last reserves of energy, as we fully turn to crystal, standing there like statues, embracing each other eternally, we harmonize and encase our dying bodies in the thick bark and folds of a willow tree the so that we will bring light to every being who incarnates onto the planet.


If an entirety of a section is superfluous, you need ask yourself why you wrote it in the first place. What develops here? What about my characters is revealed or reinforced? What aspect of the overall setting is introduced or expanded? What, if anything, may be redundantly expressed elsewhere in the story? Does the scene help space the story out (a cool-down perhaps between more intense scenes)? There is usually a reason you wrote it. Figure that out and discover if you can do the same thing in another section, or if you have to rewrite this section to give it more emphasis. Write and revise. Repeat as needed.

La Volpe

As far as I can tell, some important things seem to happen in this scene, given that the narrator meets Kareth here? I.e. if you cut this, won't it leave a gaping hole in your story?

But as a more general response: I generally check to see if a scene is necessary by checking what has changed. Staiger above gives some good examples of the possible purposes of scenes. So check for those, and also check that something is different by the end of this scene.

E.g. an example of a scene that could be cut is: The MC, on his way to Mt Doom to fight the dark lord, stops by a tavern, where he breaks a glass and does a job for the owner to make up for the loss, and then continues on his journey. If nothing that happened in the scene will affect the rest of your story, it can probably be cut (or at least summarized in the next scene's start).


Can you add any parts pertinent to story at different parts of the story? I found I was more engaged from "innumerable nights..." but definitely ask the questions raised above.


As a general rule, I believe that if you have to ask this question, the answer is no.

My personal rule is: never ask this question. Because literally nothing is "necessary" in fiction. There's no such thing. The only question you should ask as a standard for your fiction is: is this interesting? Chances are if it's interesting to you, it will also be interesting to your audience. (And your target audience is, by definition, those who would be interested in your story.)